I have been thinking of what my goals for 2013 I Ho Chuan will be, and one I have thought of is to take at least 3 people shooting. There are several reasons, some self-interested, some a bit more broad.
My personal reasons are that I like to go shooting, shooting is something that needs practice, and I did not make time to go last year.
The next reason is the more broad based one, education. A gun is just a tool, and the more familiar a martial artist is with these tools, the more likely a successful defense, or if they end up in possession of a gun during a confrontation, the ability to use it safely. I have told new shooters that a gun is like a chainsaw, no more (or less) dangerous. It does not make someone a psycho killer any more than a chainsaw makes you go to Texas and start massacring people.
One of the last times that I went shooting, I took someone who had never shot a pistol before, and only had Hollywood for a reference. Now, if you watch many movies, you know that a) the good guy just waves his gun in the general direction, often while executing a summersault or other gymnastic action, and either fires a single round which magically hits his target like a heat seeking missile, or b) fires 47 rounds from a single magazine, all of which miss any innocent bystanders, and instead hit the bad guy like a freight train and throw him through the nearest plate glass window. Bad guys of course never hit the hero, but also miss all innocent bystanders.
The reality is that shooting is a skill, not a special effects department. This seems to have a lot of parallels with the Martial Arts in my view. Another parallel is in the weapons laws, which, in my opinion are racist and sexist. Racist in that traditional weapons of the orient (two pieces of dowel and a string?) are against the law, and sexist in that almost all “ladies guns” or “purse guns” marketed to women in the US are specifically prohibited in Canada to the law abiding citizens (criminals, by definition ignore these laws).
So every person that I can take shooting is one more person that knows the truth, and will be less likely to swallow the propaganda of those that would take my guns away.